Business

5 Practices For A Streamlined Document Management System

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Businesses thrive on data and information. Every intellectual business datum, customer record, and sales report—basically, all kinds of business data and documents—are essential to help business stakeholders make sound decisions and stay competitive.

That said, companies produce so much information and data that the traditional paper-based filing system is no longer as effective as before. Thus, most businesses are now switching to digital document management systems to handle data and information output. 

Whether you just switched to digital documentation or want to streamline your current system, take a look at these document management best practices:

  • Consider A Custom Document Management System

The first step to having a streamlined document management is investing in the right software. While you may be using an off-the-shelf document management system already, if you have the budget, it’s best to switch to a customized system. 

A custom document management system offers a comprehensive set of features that fits your business requirements. For instance, you can ask a developer to add a PDF form tool to your document management system. This is an essential function that allows you to manage PDF files more effectively. A majority of such types of systems doesn’t have this capability and only allows for viewing PDF files. 

With a built-in software for PDF editing in your document management system, you can convert, compress, edit, merge or reorder pages, and add annotations, among other functions.

In this increasingly competitive world, utilizing technologies tailored to your needs ensures higher efficiency, as well as provides an edge against your competitors. 

  • Ensure Consistency In Naming And Folder Structures
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Employees create hundreds of folders and files every day. And, they often come up with their own file names and folder directories for their own convenience, and to help them stay organized. However, in a shared space, this can easily become a problem, creating complications and confusion. There’s also the risk of forgetting their original naming and filing structure, which can easily become a headache when searching for specific files. 

So, it’d be best to set up a standard naming convention and file structure. Create a template that guides employees in how they organize documents. This can provide consistency and uniformity throughout the company. This way, employees won’t have to waste their precious time finding the documents they need at any point in time. 

  • Control Access

Not every employee will need access to every business datum and document. In general, your business data also include confidential documents, including employee performance records, business contracts, and customer data. Thus, it’s important to set up access control in your document management system. 

Take the time to categorize your employees and create viable access permissions for each category. Make sure to choose which employees can have access to, edit, or share specific documents. 

  • Manage Version Control

Version control is a common challenge in document management systems. Some types of software don’t handle collaboration too well, with employees ending up creating several different versions of the same document when making their own edits and updates. Thus, you must set up an effective version control strategy. As documents are updated and edited, each change should be reflected for everyone in the same document, while ensuring that revisions are archived so you can restore them as needed or for future references.

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In this case, automatic document change tracking is essential in creating an audit trail, providing details on who made the change and when. It also allows you to track the movement of different documents within your company. 

  • Don’t Forget Document Auditing

Speaking of an audit trail, you must implement regular company-wide document auditing. Although it’s easier to manage and organize your business information and documents with document management software, you’re still required to do regular audits. 

A comprehensive document audit allows you to learn what types of documents you have, determine document compliance with industry regulations, and review security protocols to mitigate potential data breaches.

In general, experts recommend that you do both internal and external document audits. External document audits should be done annually, while internal audits should be scheduled every three to six months. 

A regular audit allows you to stay on top of everything. This prevents you from panicking when regulatory bodies require your business data management to be put under the microscope. 

 

Takeaway

As you can see, organizing your business documents doesn’t have to be a headache. By following the above tips, you can streamline your document workflow. This ensures that your employees can have instant access to updated data and documents they need, whenever and wherever they are, ultimately revolutionizing business productivity.

 

 

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